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10 Simple Habits You Didn’t Know Can Help You Live Without Anxiety

10 Simple Habits You Didn’t Know Can Help You Live Without Anxiety

Life can be stressful—juggling family, friends, your career, and the daily grind of bill paying and errand-running. Don’t get overwhelmed! You don’t have to turn to therapy and medication. Instead of letting life give you panic attacks, try these ten simple habits that can help you live without anxiety.

1. Create boring routines.

If you’re doing the same thing, day after day, then you don’t have to worry about an unknown variable throwing off your entire day. Have a certain way you drive to work every morning, and go home the same way each afternoon. Work out a routine for your work day that ensures you get everything done without feeling pressed for time. Check your email first thing, work on projects right after lunch when your energy levels are high. Knowing what’s coming up in your day will reduce your anxiety about the unknown.

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2. Write down your thoughts.

Keep a journal. It might sound juvenile or time-consuming, but it helps! Writing down your thoughts gets them out of your head; you might feel more relaxed if you have them written down, but don’t have to think about them as often. Seeing them on paper might also help you work through them more logically than when they’re bumping around in your mind.

3. Study your anxiety.

When you feel anxious, stop and think about what is making you feel that way and why. Learning what sets off your anxiety can help you gain control of it in the future, and possibly even figure out how to prevent it! If you always feel anxious when you have a stressful deadline at work, you’ll know to ask your boss for an extension, or to start the project earlier. There are ways to combat and control your anxiety, once you know its source.

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4. Accept the discomfort.

When you start feeling anxious, accept it! No one likes feeling uncomfortable, but if you stop getting frustrated at the sensation, then you can help control your anxiety. The discomfort of an anxiety attack often feels so overwhelming that it leads to more and more panic, prolonging the attack unnecessarily. Accept your feelings and see how it helps you keep your anxiety under control.

5. Exercise daily.

Physical exercise greatly helps combat feelings of anxiety and depression. Instead of moping around the house, letting your thoughts control your emotions, get active! Join a gym and make up a workout routine. Run around your neighborhood. Do stretches, crunches, lift weights! Keeping your body active will keep your mind occupied, and as an added bonus, it will wear you out so you’ll fall asleep easily, without tossing and turning while anxious thoughts take over your brain.

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6. Take time to relax.

It sounds like the opposite of exercising, right? Work hard, play hard! Trying to pack your day too full is one way to find yourself overcome by anxiety. Don’t be afraid to say no to certain people or events in order to keep time for yourself. When you relax, relax completely. Don’t watch TV or stay connected to your phone. Let your mind go blank and let your body go limp and see how refreshed you feel when you get up.

7. Distract yourself.

Your mind is too good at imagining the worst that could happen in any situation, and worrying about that before it even happens. When you start to feel anxious, your brain latches onto this feeling and won’t let go until you’re having a full blown attack. You have to take control and distract your own mind. Do logic puzzles, math problems, or say the alphabet backwards. These seem like simple solutions, but the problems themselves are complex enough to consume your brain and let all the anxiety float away.

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8. Stop drinking caffeine.

It’s hard, I know! In fact, trying to stop drinking caffeine might be enough to distract yourself, as the last tip recommended! But caffeine is a stimulant, and consuming copious amounts will amp you up and keep you from sleeping. Caffeine is known to improve your alertness, concentration, and memory, but too much, or if you’re already inclined to anxiety, then these positive factors quickly turn into a pounding heart, inability to focus, and the jitters. Cutting caffeine will mean you’re cutting something that more than likely helps bring on anxiety attacks.

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    9. Stimulate positive thinking.

    Even if you feel down in the dumps and it seems impossible, make yourself think positive! Anxiety can’t last forever, and stress will fade away before long. Push yourself to turn every situation that’s bothering you into something positive. Tell yourself that your anxiety is unfounded, and will pass before you know it.

    10. Have a support group.

    This doesn’t mean you have to enroll in group therapy—it just means having a group of people you can talk to and rely on. It’s important to be able to be honest with others, so make sure your circle is full of people you trust. You’ll feel better if you can share your feelings, and you’ll get better feedback and advice.

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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